Every social media platform lives and dies by how well it manages to keep up with the changing zeitgeist. Apps can capture a certain spirit when they launch, but they need to keep introducing new features and dropping old ones as audiences change, or else they may be accused of stagnation or irrelevance, which are two of the main things social media apps never want to be.
You may well have seen the furore surrounding Threads, which is Meta’s new competitor to Twitter that rolled out earlier in July – it’s already got 100 million users. Threads is a pretty similar app to Twitter, but it has a few key differences, and some of those differences are, in fact, features Threads lacks. Meta has pledged to keep updating the app with new additions in the future, but what kind of features are making their way to Threads soon? With many getting started on the Threads app, let’s take a look at what’s coming to the new social media app!
A curated timeline
According to Instagram head Adam Mosseri, who posted a list of things Threads plans to introduce soon on Tuesday, one of the first things on the social media app’s timeline, so to speak, is a timeline that shows you posts from those you follow. At the moment, Threads shows both posts from people you follow and brands or celebrities in which the app thinks you might be interested in.
This is an important feature because there are those who will only want to see posts from those they deem worthy of following, and for those people, brands and celebrities simply won’t be of any interest. Twitter, for instance, has a feed that only shows posts from those you follow (as well as potential ads and sponsored posts), and so Meta will want to keep up with Twitter on this front.
Have you ever posted something, only to realise that you want to make a change after it’s gone out? Many other social media apps have this functionality, but at the moment, Threads doesn’t. Mosseri says that the app’s team plans to change this, and that this is one of the highest priorities for the team to add. We can, therefore, expect to see an edit button appearing soon; if not this week, then perhaps the week after.
You might wonder why an edit button is important, but if you do, then you’ve probably never posted something you immediately regret or realise you need to change. Again, if Threads wants to keep up with its competitors, then it’s going to need to stay contemporary, and one way to do that is to ensure not just that it has features its competitors have, but also that it has features its users want, one of which is evidently an edit button.
A post search function
Another thing Mosseri says is coming to Threads soon is the ability to search for specific posts. Right now, you can only view the posts you have on your feed, or those that are contained within the feeds of other users, but you can’t search for specific posts like you can on other social media networks. This feature should be added within the next week or two, if Mosseri’s Threads post is to be believed.
The reason for adding a post search is simple. Have you ever seen a post on your feed, then wished you could go back to it? Do you perhaps remember some specific wording from the post? Using a post search function, you’d be able to quickly and easily find that post again, but without one, you’re left wondering what life would be like if you could only revisit that intelligent takedown of your least favourite band.
A liked post view
On other social media apps – Instagram included – it’s possible to look through a list of posts you’ve interacted with, including posts you’ve liked. Right now, it’s not possible to do that on Threads, but Mosseri says he and his team are looking into it and that it’s “on the list”. How far up the list this feature is, we simply don’t know, but hopefully, we should be seeing it introduced to Threads at some point in the near future.
Here’s a topic that Mosseri and his team appear to want to be fairly careful about. Trending topics can be a great way to engage with things that are happening in the world, but they can also be open to abuse, as you might see if you check Twitter’s trending topics and see something that’s obviously trolling or highly politically-charged in a negative way.
As such, Mosseri says that although trending topics for Threads are “on the list”, they’re not “towards the top” of the team’s priorities. He says that it’s easy to build a simple version of a trending topic system, but that building one that balances user interests, location, and thoughtfulness “about abuse” will take longer.
Since Instagram uses hashtags, you might be wondering whether they’re coming to Threads. The simple answer is yes, they are, although again, Mosseri stops short of giving a specific timeline for this one. He says that it “might be a while” before you start seeing hashtags on Threads, and before you can start using them in your posts. Don’t expect the team to focus on this one over some of the higher-priority items you’ve seen above.